Confiteor

Confiteor September 28, 2011

I feed the homeless on Wednesdays at a local Lutheran church in Berkeley, California, where I live.

I used to arrive early enough that I would help set up, pitch in in the kitchen, and so forth, but now (due to gaining employment) I arrive maybe 15 minutes after the doors open, so the line is already moving past the table where the spaghetti and salad are being served to the diners.

A couple weeks ago, after I arrived, I joined the line and had spaghetti served to me. This might have been an opportunity to experience solidarity with the diners, but I was careful to mention to the servers that I was usually on their side of the serving table, and not one of “them” who need help. As soon as I did that, I was sick at heart – I had, in a very real sense, denied Christ Himself.

A wonderful thing about Christ is that, when you go to serve him, he shows you how much you need him.

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti,
et vobis fratres,
quia peccavi nimis
cogitatione, verbo
opere et omissione:
mea culpa, mea culpa,
mea maxima culpa.
Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem,
omnes angelos et Sanctos,
et vobis fratres,
orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum. Amen.

"If I am only now scaring you, I need to bring my A game. :-)"

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  • Mark Gordon

    Been there, done that, too many times to count. The grace is in the realization, isn’t it? And in the sorrow. Thank God for sorrow over sin … it means we’re still alive! Such bracing honesty is what I love about you, brother Matt.

  • Matt, wow! This has happened to me this week. I have been temping at a job and I realized I am bothered by my lowly position and have communicated that this is “just” temporary. Pride. Once I realized I was doing it, I began to offer it up FOR me and my continuous conversion. God bless.

  • brian martin

    It is indeed one thing to “serve the needy” when one sees them as the nameless, faceless needy. It is indeed another thing altogether to see them as brothers and sister, to have the Christ in you recognize the Christ in them…so to speak.
    It is one thing to serve food, to donate money, to donate old clothing and housewares. And these are good and necessary things.
    It enters another level when one is present with them, person to person…not teaching, not preaching, not advising…but talking, acknowledging that they are a person, and that is when the true ministering, the true communion takes place…and it changes you

    It took an old homeless man asking me how I was doing to shake me out of my pride.